Sunday, February 23, 2014

Lessons Learned in Life and Death

This week has truly been one of the most exhausting mentally and emotionally that I've had in years.

I've gone to the same church my whole life, so I've grown up with my church family as a huge part of my life. This week we lost three members of our church and I attended all of the funerals.

This week inspired me to write a post about a lesson I learned during my brothers first deployment.

Life is a very short and delicate thing, it goes by fast and it ends suddenly. This is a story that not too many people really know about, but it has really shaped my life.

In 2004, my brother was deployed in Baqubah, Iraq. The very end of July his girlfriend at that time Amanda had gotten very sick and was in the hospital. While my brother was gone she was visiting her family (who were not very great) and she went to a water park (not good for a transplant patient) she got some kind of infection that caused her body to reject her new heart. about a week later Amanda was gone. We to call the Red Cross to let my brother know what had happened. He wasn't able to come home for the funeral.

[BACK STORY: My brother and Amanda dated for 4 years through all of high school, she had a heart condition and had to have a transplant, which finally came when she was 17. She was part of our family, we were at the hospital with her everyday and took her on vacations she was an everyday part of our life. ]

The day of the funeral my family left for our vacation, and by vacation I mean we all went to the beach and were depressed. Not only was it a first with out my brother but a first in 4 years with out Amanda. (fun fact, we've never went on another vacation during a deployment)

Almost 3 months to the day our Grandpa died, he was 82 a world war II Bomber, and a amazing man. We called the Red Cross again and this time my brother was sent home for 2 weeks. He landed in St. Louis 2 hours before the funeral. My grandfather is buried in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, a sacred piece of ground. When my grandpa died my brother was about to head into Fallujah to help the Marines who were having a pretty rough time. We always say my grandpas death saved my brothers life.

That year at just 11 I realized how precious life is, this week has definitely reminded me of that. I learned that as an Army family (however this is important for all families) you have to enjoy and take full advantage of all the time you have with family and friends. Tomorrow it could all be gone.

Love your family, really love them. Make sure they know how much you love them.
Take time to enjoy the little things.

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